On 23 May the Parliamentary Council, which is made up of representatives of the states in the Western Occupation Zones, rresolves the Basic Law in Bonn. The first Bundestag is elected on 14 August.
On 17 June 1953 around one million people take to the streets in East Berlin and East Germany in protest at the political and economic conditions. The uprising is quashed by a massive military operation.
In Berlin, the East German leadership seals off the crossings from east to west: with a wall and barbed wire. Anyone henceforth seen trying to escape is shot. The unity of Germany as a state seems unattainable for the foreseeable future.
Willy Brandt is the first Chancellor not to be a member of the CDU party. The Ostpolitik of the coalition government made up of the SPD and FDP creates a framework for the reconciliation of Germany with its eastern neighbours.
In East Germany, peaceful protests lead to the regime being toppled. On 9 November the border with the West is opened. After the first free elections on 18 March, East Germany accedes to the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990.
The Bundestag and the Federal Government are relocated to Berlin. The parliamentary buildings stand on both sides of the former course taken by the Wall. Bonn remains the seat of some ministries and federal authorities.